November 09, 2017
Holden Page is a Crunchbase News editor and columnist.
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Morning Report: Tencent, an investor in Tesla, leads $1 billion investment in Chinese electric car company Nio. 

In the fight against the internal combustion engine, Tencent has followed up on its rather exciting week by leading a $1 billion dollar investment in Nio.

According to Crunchbase, the electric car company, based in Shanghai, China, plans to release its first vehicle, the ES8 SUV, in mid-December.

Prior to this major round of funding, Nio had already raised $1.1 billion.

The news comes amidst reports that Tesla, which Tencent has also invested in, is failing to hit its production goals for the Model 3—its stock suffering as a result.

Nio currently only operates in China, but has stated that it plans to have EVs in the US market by 2020. Presumably, a billion dollar round would help in achieving that goal, likely to the chagrin of Tesla. Additionally, the Chinese company claims its electric vehicles will be cheaper than Tesla’s offerings.

As of now, who will take the lead in the electric vehicle market is still open for debate. Tencent, though, is hedging its bets in an effort to be a part of the future of transportation not only in EVs, but in ridesharing as well.

From the Crunchbase Daily:

Nio raises over $1B for electric cars

Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio has raised more than $1 billion in a new financing round that values the four-year-old company around $5 billion, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed sources. Existing investor Tencent reportedly led the round.

Tencent-backed Sogou launches IPO

It’s been a busy week for Tencent. Sogou, China’s second-largest search engine, raised about $585 million in an initial stock offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The offering represents the second big IPO this week for a company backed by Tencent, which also just made another big purchase of public shares, snapping up $2 billion worth of stock in Snap.

Apple acquires InVisage

Apple has acquired InVisage Technologies, a 10-year-old company that develops solutions to improve imaging capabilities on smaller devices like smartphones, TechCrunch reports. Silicon Valley-based InVisage previously raised close to $100 million in venture funding.

From Russia with venture capital

Over the past seven years, Russia-based investors have participated in more than 300 funding rounds for U.S.-based startups across all stages and major sectors. However, the number of financings involving Russian backers is down in 2017 from prior peaks, along with investment totals, a Crunchbase News analysis found.